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> Pernod S.A. Tarragona circa 1935, Reviewed
Artemis
post Dec 13 2006, 11:20 PM
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AVERAGE SCORE 82

Reviewed by Donnie Darko 6/19/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Light amber, and slightly hazy

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Not as thick as Pernod Fils or preban Edouard, but thicker than any Tarragona I've seen.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Whitish amber with the slightest green touches, kind of murky.

AROMA 27/30
Smells like smooth buttery alcohol neat, thick with honey, anise and wood, but not dank musty wood. When louched, there is a semi room filling lemony boquet with surprisingly little alcohol heat when you sniff close to the glass. There's a creaminess to the louched aroma which almost smells like dairy.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
I'm giving this a 9 because of a distinct dryness present on the tongue that is really amazing. It's not as creamy as some preban brands, but creamy enough. This sort of dryness is something I've never tasted in an absinthe before and is really awe inspiring. One point was subtracted for it not being as creamy as the best.

TASTE 17/20
The absinthe has a LONG taste that evolves so I'm going to describe it in terms of time.
>10 seconds: Nice smooth alcohol reminiscent of very clean old brandy followed by a short wallop of bitterness mixed with a lemony/minty perfume.
>20 seconds: The alcohol heat dissipates, the bitterness evaporates and a lemon butter taste is accompanied by some surprisingly fresh tasting mint, backed up all the way with creamy anise with some woody nuances.
>30 seconds: Lemon and wormwood flowers. No bitterness whatsoever. Here's what's particularly strange: it's dry AND sweet. It FEELS dry, but TASTES sweet. I don't even know how that is possible, but that's what my mouth says. I guess the best way to put it is dry on the roof of the mouth but sweet on the sides and tip of the tongue?
>45 seconds: This is when it is most delicious. Wormwood, mint, anise and fennel with a persistent lemon undertone all seem to fuse into a big fruity whole. This is the one point where I can see similarities to Jade Edouard, except it is much dryer on the palate, and the alcohol base is far less obtrusive than Edouard (I'm sure age contributes). I've never tasted an absinthe this dry. But the minty/fennel component is definitely similar to JEdouard.
>90 seconds: Still very dry, with the right kind of fennel subtly keeping this long aftertaste going, and every now and then good wormwood peeks in to say hello.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
This is the best post-ban commercial absinthe I've had, it's delicately balanced, and the dryness has an effect on your mouth reminiscent of a nice mild cigar. Did I mention it was dry? Strangely, I taste none of the Coriander Edouard is famous for featuring, but I'm convinced the distinct dryness is directly due to Coriander. Perhaps the peppery Coriander nuances simply deteriorated with age and all that was left was the drying effect it has on the palate. To be honest it only vaguely resembles a sample of Pre ban Edouard Pernod I had back around 2001. The pre ban Edouard was more bitter, and much denser in the glass, to the point of seeming almost chewy and smoky, with hints of maple people have mentioned before. The Tarragonna distillery must have changed the recipe or process, and certainly the herb sources from the Couvet/Pontarlier Edouard. This one is more floral and not as dense or full flavoured, but still a better drink than most.

Donnie Darko scores Pernod SA Tarragona circa 1930 86 out of 100


Reviewed by Artemis 12/13/2006

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Pale yellowish green. The green has survived nicely after nearly 80 years. It was obviously, even when new, fairly pale for a green absinthe, not heavily colored.

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Classic layer separation - intense clouding starts from the bottom and an opaque layer floats a clear layer until all is opaque and yellowish-white.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Very nice yellow-green-pearl.

AROMA 20/30
Neat, smells mostly of grapey anisey alcohol. Not in the least offensive, but a pale shadow of the powerhouse 1914 Pernod Fils I tasted earlier today. Not floral or anything like that. The smell was better after louching- more intense, but still just slightly floral and anise. And I mean decent anise, not spectacular anise.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Thick and creamy. Speaks of anise.

TASTE 16/20
More well-rounded than the mostly anise scent and mouthfeel promises. Pleasant enough, but ordinary and one-dimensional compared to REALLY fine absinthe.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
There is a Hemingway story in which the character tells the waiter not to try and fool him with Tarragona because he knows REAL Pernod when he tastes it. I've always suspected the character (and Hemingway, by extension) was full of crap. I now know that he knew what he claimed he knew.

Artemis scores Pernod S.A. Tarragona 78 out of 100


Reviewed by Crosby & Head Prosthesis 1/20/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 6/10
Golden, straw color. Lighter than expected.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
Builds nice and slowly, but not dramatic.

COLOR AFTER WATER 7/10
Golden center, with tinges of green.

AROMA 20/30
Sweet, slightly acidic.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Astringent, slightly creamy.

TASTE 17/20
Light & crisp with a bitter finish. Sweet aroma doesn't carry over.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
A nice treat!

Crosby & Head Prosthesis scores Pernod S.A. Tarragona 73 out of 100


Reviewed by Provenance 2/14/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 7/10
Pale feuille morte. Nice but nothing special.

LOUCHE ACTION 8/10
Pleasant swirl action resulting in an opalescent glass.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
A bit pale but solid. Straw-colored milk

AROMA 23/30
Lightly herbal with distinct alcohol. Water adds some needed depth and a note of honey.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Creamy but a bit thin.

TASTE 17/20
Whole, slightly sweet herbs in harmony but with a slightly flat note in the background.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 8/10
A completely enjoyable absinthe. If it weren't for the scarcity issue, it would make a delightful everyday drink.

Provenance scores Pernod S.A Tarragona 1935 78 out of 100


Reviewed by jmark 3/22/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 8/10
Perfectly clear though gold-amber.

LOUCHE ACTION 6/10
Louches late, lots of oil tendrils building in mass until it finally begins to turn more opaque. I'm guessing that this recipe is lighter on anise.

COLOR AFTER WATER 6/10
Absolutely straddles the line at which I would be really dissatisfied with the color. Any more opaque would be disappointing, but it looks nice. Just milky enough, though still translucent. I always prefer a solid opaque.

AROMA 27/30
Before water: not much alcohol in the scent, so may be fairly low in %. Very herbal, seems that tarragon-wormwood scent is right up front. Easily the most interesting pre-water aroma to date. Herbal, dry grasses, anise is sitting WAY back in the scent, which is a real change from the norm.

After water: everything said above, now lighter, a little sweeter maybe from hyssop stepping forward? Not a note of funk or swamp.

MOUTH-FEEL 7/10
Much creamier than I would suspect from the lighter louche, though still a tad thin.

TASTE 17/20
Unlike anything I've tasted. The strongest association I have with it is: pipe tobacco. It tastes the way my Dad's Borkum Riff tobacco used to smell in its humidor. Very complex, lots of emerging flavors on the tongue ending with a nice, clean bitter bite. The range of flavors is much more akin to what I would expect from a single-malt whiskey. I like it.
Imagine the mind-set behind all the chop.gif-max czechsinthes being taken to the level of subtle craft. I think this flavor is what would emerge if that family tree ever grew to its artistic fruition. Maybe we should buy KOSG and sit on it for 70 years?

OVERALL IMPRESSION 7/10
I'm just going to take my wishes for a strong thick louche out of the equation. If this flavor were around on the market today I would keep it in stock, though maybe just for poker night.

jmark scores Pernod S.A Tarragona 1930 78 out of 100


Reviewed by justabob 4/6/2007

COLOR BEFORE WATER 9/10
Clear and lovely amber dead leaf.

LOUCHE ACTION 7/10
On par with the 1914 cache, not overly dramatic but pleasing none the less.

COLOR AFTER WATER 8/10
Not entirely opaque, whitish amber.

AROMA 28/30
Floral and complex nearly devoid of any alcohol scent.

MOUTH-FEEL 9/10
Surprisingly full despite the less than dramatic louche, I expect there was some angelica root used.

TASTE 18/20
The first taste sensation is that of lovely wormwood. Dry with only a background hint of anise, coriander
is most certainly present. I expect there is a sum what subdued anise presence thus accounting for a less than dramatic louche.
The overall balance is outstanding, with wormwood slightly prominent.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
I am struck by the unique wormwood flavor. The more quality absinthes that I sample the more I have come to realize the importance of Artemisia absinthium in the flavor profile.

justabob rates Pernod S.A Tarragona circa 1930 88 out of 100


Reviewed by absinthist 2/4/2009

COLOR BEFORE WATER 10/10
Honey yellow

LOUCHE ACTION 9/10
Oily, slowly-forming, doesn't get opaque at 1:3

COLOR AFTER WATER 10/10
Greenish tinge, as vintages go-correct

AROMA 28/30
Anise and melissa, very clean and robust

MOUTH-FEEL 10/10
Rounded but not too heavy

TASTE 19/20
Beautifully balanced, meticulously wormwoody with slight kicks from hyssop, pontica and star anise.

OVERALL IMPRESSION 9/10
Not as complex as Fritz Duval but kicks the ass of all CO's. Best savoured at 1:2

absinthist scores Pernod S.A Tarragona, circa 1930 95 out of 100


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Artemis
post Dec 13 2006, 11:24 PM
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In searching to see if there were previous reviews for this absinthe, I found one by Darko, but his title says 1930-1935, whereas the label on my sample only says 1930. Is it the same product? I'm not sure.

I'm not confident that reviews of these old products belong under "Modern Brand Reviews", but I don't think we ever got around to building a vintage review section, did we? In any case, if Darko's review and mine belong in the same thread, I trust Hartsmar will make do the necessary heavy lifting. Although I have admin rights, I'm not really up to speed on this and it's somewhat tedious for me to carry out.


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hartsmar
post Dec 15 2006, 07:51 AM
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Those would be the same Artemis. I will assemble all these new reviews and add them (and photos) to the off-forum Buyer's Guide where they have their own section. I will add reviews of the 1914 cache myself as well... Will try and arrange all that this weekend.

Lovely reviews Artemis!


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hartsmar
post Apr 10 2007, 07:09 PM
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Updated...


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justabob
post Apr 11 2007, 06:30 AM
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QUOTE(Artemis @ Dec 13 2006, 04:24 PM) *

In searching to see if there were previous reviews for this absinthe, I found one by Darko, but his title says 1930-1935, whereas the label on my sample only says 1930. Is it the same product? I'm not sure.




I was not sure either Arty, my sample said EP 1930. Also based on your review I wonder if they are indeed the same stuff. Mine above all else was dry in the finish with aa and coriander out front, and did not seem to louche all that well. Did enjoy it very much, nearly as much as the 1914. I have enough for a couple more drinks and will try to give it more thought.


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hartsmar
post Apr 11 2007, 07:33 AM
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There have been a couple of different bottles of Pernod S.A Tarragona from which samples have been sold. They have all ranged from 1930-1938. If this was an Edouard Pernod and the year was 1930, it wouldn't have been absinthe...

The Pernod S.A pre-1938 was the Tarragona version of Edouard Pernod absinthe, so...
It all makes sense after all.

wacko.gif


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Artemis
post Apr 11 2007, 10:01 PM
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If the words weren't up there to prove it, I wouldn't remember ever laying eyes on it - those reviews are the only record I ever kept of such things.

It's quite possible that if I sat down with the same sample today I would agree with your own review completely, J-bob. In fact, keep some of what you have and I'll come taste it with you. We'll correct the record.


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justabob
post Apr 12 2007, 06:07 AM
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Your on Pal.


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Marc
post Apr 14 2007, 10:48 PM
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QUOTE(hartsmar @ Apr 11 2007, 09:33 AM) *

There have been a couple of different bottles of Pernod S.A Tarragona from which samples have been sold. They have all ranged from 1930-1938. If this was an Edouard Pernod and the year was 1930, it wouldn't have been absinthe...

The Pernod S.A pre-1938 was the Tarragona version of Edouard Pernod absinthe, so...
It all makes sense after all.

wacko.gif


Could even be from the 20's, that's why we usually say 'circa 30'.

It is commonly called 'Pernod SA 1930' or 'Edouard Pernod 1930' or even 'EP clone 1930'
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Provenance
post Apr 16 2007, 02:59 PM
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There was Jade in 1930?


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hartsmar
post Apr 17 2007, 05:52 AM
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HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!


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hartsmar
post Sep 11 2009, 07:23 PM
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Updated...


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